Last week we identified the importance of knowing our purpose and its power to be our North Star. Once we know our purpose, we can count on life sending us two things. First, people and opportunities will come into our life to support our purpose.

Our December 9th Wellness Wednesday message focused on collaboration…working with others to produce or create something.

Our purpose cannot be achieved by operating alone. We need to join with others if our purpose is to become a reality.

Second, people and ‘hits’ will come into our life that will block our purpose. Now what? In these moments countless purposes are laid to eternal rest in purpose cemeteries unless…

Once we have passion for our purpose, our purpose will not succumb to the hits but will overcome the roadblocks. Why? Because we are then willing to sacrifice. Passion means we give our time, energy, resources…our life…in order to achieve our purpose.

In two days, we will celebrate the life and purpose of Dr. Martin Luther King. Dr. King had a clear purpose that was supported by people of all ages, colors, and creeds. But his purpose was also met by countless overwhelming hits and roadblocks…death threats, bombings, arrests, and ultimately assassination. Even after enduring the greatest sacrifice of all, Dr. King’s purpose is not buried in a cemetery. Rather, his passion for his purpose placed it on our national mountaintop where it continues to shine brightly and inspire today.

It’s unlikely that our purpose will draw the hits Dr. King experienced, but there will be roadblocks. How can we stay focused on our purpose during these times? We can use five Purpose Keepers.

Practice the Pause:  When hits come and threaten our purpose, we have two choices.

  1. Hits  ->  React

A common choice is simply to react to the hit with anger, frustration, conflict, or withdrawal.

  1. Hits ->  Pause (Insert Purpose) ->  Respond

A less common but more effective choice when the hit comes is to pause. In that moment of pause we can insert      our purpose. Our response then comes out of our purpose, not out of the hit.

Phrase It — Fix it in your seat before you take it to the street:  This is a Purpose Keeper practiced by Dr. King. Before he arrived at a place where he knew there were going to be hits, he locked into his purpose. Through various spiritual exercises, he grounded himself in the principle of non-violent resistance and love of enemy.

Peer Partners:  We need to link arms with others who know and support our purpose. They can even remind us when we begin to waver on our purpose.

Physical Objects:  Have a physical object that reminds you of your purpose. This could be a picture, bracelet, or necklace that has special meaning related to your purpose. I carry a red heart that was given to me by my granddaughter Emma. Tom has a rock that he found during a special time in his life.

Pupils and Players:  Many of our Wellness Wednesday readers are teachers, coaches, or parents. Make sure your students, players, or children know your purpose. Have it posted in your work area. At times, ask your class or team, “What’s my purpose?” As a chorus, they yell it out to you. We can even use some form of this with colleagues or adults we supervise.

Identify a purpose keeper you want to use so your purpose is not just written in a notebook but obvious to others when you walk into a room. Like Dr. King, let’s put our purpose on the mountaintop.

Where are we going in 2021? We’ll end up wherever our passionate purposes take us.

Top 20 and our team…Kevin Brennan, Tom Cody, and Willow Sweeny…are committed to supporting you in following your North Star.

Paul Bernabei
Top 20 Training